Yin Mo

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Yin Mo
Official of Shu Han
Born (Unknown)
Died (Unknown)
Traditional Chinese 尹默
Simplified Chinese 尹默
Pinyin Yǐn Mò
Wade–Giles Yin Mo
Courtesy name Siqian (traditional Chinese: 思潛; simplified Chinese: 思潜; pinyin: Sīqiǎn; Wade–Giles: Szu-chien)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yin.

Yin Mo (birth and death dates unknown), courtesy name Siqian, was a Confucian scholar and an official of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period.


Yin Mo was from Fu County (涪縣), Zitong Commandery (梓潼郡), Yi Province (covering present-day Sichuan and Chongqing) which is located east of present-day Mianyang, Sichuan. At the time, many people in Yi Province preferred contemporary writing over ancient prose, which they were very unfamiliar with. Yin Mo travelled east to Jing Province (covering present-day Hubei and Hunan) to learn ancient prose from Sima Hui and Song Zhong (宋忠; also known as Song Zhongzi 宋仲子). He became well versed in Confucian classics and history and specialised in the Zuo Zhuan. He followed in the footsteps of earlier scholars such as Liu Xin, who used the Zuo Zhuan to explain the Spring and Autumn Annals, and Zheng Zhong (鄭眾) and Jia Kui (賈逵), who annotated the Zuo Zhuan. Yin Mo's works became so popular that readers did not need to refer to the original version after reading his annotated works.[1]

In 215, after the warlord Liu Bei seized control of Yi Province from its provincial governor Liu Zhang, he appointed Yin Mo as an "Assistant Officer of Education" (勸學從事). In 221, Liu Bei declared himself 'Emperor' and founded the state of Shu Han, after which he designated his son Liu Shan as the Crown Prince. Yin Mo, who was appointed as the "Crown Prince's Coachman" (太子僕), tutored Liu Shan in the Zuo Zhuan and Confucian classics. Liu Bei died in 223 and was succeeded by Liu Shan, who appointed Yin Mo as a "Counsellor Remonstrant" (諫議大夫) in the Shu imperial court. Around 227, when the Shu chancellor Zhuge Liang garrisoned military forces in Hanzhong in preparation for a series of campaigns against Shu's rival state Cao Wei, Yin Mo was appointed as an "Army Libationer" (軍祭酒) under Zhuge Liang. In 234, after Zhuge Liang's death, Yin Mo returned to the Shu capital Chengdu and assumed the post of "Palace Counsellor" (太中大夫). He died on an unspecified date. His son, Yin Zong (尹宗), inherited his legacy and became an Academician (博士) in the Shu court.[2]


Chen Shou, who wrote Yin Mo's biography in the Sanguozhi, commented on Yin as follows: "Yin Mo was versed in the Zuo Zhuan. Even though he did not have a reputation for being virtuous, he was still a scholar of his time."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (尹默字思潛,梓潼涪人也。益部多貴今文而不崇章句,默知其不博,乃遠游荊州,從司馬德操、宋仲子等受古學。皆通諸經史,又專精於左氏春秋,自劉歆條例,鄭衆、賈逵父子、陳元方、服虔注說,咸略誦述,不復桉本。) Sanguozhi vol. 42.
  2. ^ (先主定益州,領牧,以為勸學從事,及立太子,以默為僕射,以左氏傳授後主。後主踐阼,拜諫議大夫。丞相亮住漢中,請為軍祭酒。亮卒,還成都,拜太中大夫,卒。子宗傳其業,為博士。) Sanguozhi vol. 42.
  3. ^ (尹默精於左氏,雖不以德業為稱,信皆一時之學士。) Sanguozhi vol. 42.